Baltimore Ravens: Harbaugh and Pollard's Comments Prove Bengals Are Rivals

Kyle Casey@@kylecasey094Correspondent IIISeptember 5, 2012

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20:  Bernard Pollard #31 of the Baltimore Ravens defends against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 31-24. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

There's no question that the Baltimore Ravens' biggest rivals are the Pittsburgh Steelers. In fact, the Ravens-Steelers rivalry is arguably the best in the NFL.

But a team that is often an afterthought in terms of rivals for the Ravens is the Cincinnati Bengals. Playing the Bengals twice a year, it's natural for the Ravens to resent them, but the hate is not strong as it is for the Steelers.

However, some comments by Ravens personnel on Wednesday showed that the Ravens do see the Bengals as true rivals.

According to's Jason Butt, head coach John Harbaugh gave Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green high praise. 

By saying that Green is possibly the best wide receiver in the NFL, Harbaugh is taking the route that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady often take prior to games: always give praise to the opponent. But for Harbaugh to say this is not normal, and it's only fitting that he says it against a division rival. 

Green, of course, is not the best receiver in the NFL, but by Harbaugh saying he is, it just adds fuel to Monday's game. If the Ravens can shut down Green like they did in 2011, it will look much more impressive as opposed to if Harbaugh had not mentioned Green prior to the game.

However, Harbaugh's comments weren't the end of the conversation about Green.

According to, Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard told reporters that if Green runs across the middle of the field "we are going to let you know that you came across the middle on the wrong team."

Pollard, who is one of the most physical safeties in the NFL, made the game a bit more exciting with his comments. While he did also give praise for Green after his previously mentioned comments, he still showed that the Ravens have a hatred for the Bengals.

The matchup between Green and the Ravens secondary is now the most intriguing matchup in Monday night's game, and it will be interesting to see if Pollard or any other Ravens defenders will go out of their way to hit Green.